Well, the biggest day in the fundraising calendar is over- and we all survived (just about!). For the 7th year in a row, CanadaHelps was privileged to be part of an incredible GivingTuesday, with over 23,000 Canadians donating more than $5,000,000 to charities of all sizes through CanadaHelps (a 53% increase from last year!).
It was amazing to see the outpouring of people donating, fundraising, sharing their support, and just generally ‘doing good stuff’ across Canada, and internationally, too!
Every day, we are super grateful for all of the incredible donors and organizations we have the pleasure of working with. GivingTuesday gave a couple of members of our team the chance to drop into a few local charities to see what they were up to!
We kicked off our morning early as we #SharedTheWarmth (and a lovely cup of coffee) with Fred Victor at their activation site in Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto. Since their inception over 125 years ago, Fred Victor has worked tirelessly to improve the health, income, and housing stability of people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Today, Fred Victor supports over 2,000 people every day, helping them find a place and purpose. On GivingTuesday, the team handed out hot drinks as they launched their online Share The Warmth ‘store’, where you can’t buy anything for yourself, but instead, you can give thoughtfully and share the warmth with Toronto’s homeless this holiday season.
A short walk took us over to see our friends at Hospice Toronto, stationed (nice and warmly) inside the downtown Toronto PATH system, giving out #HugsForHospice. Since 1988, Hospice Toronto has been supporting patients, caregivers and families when they need it most, and is Toronto’s first not-for-profit, community- and volunteer-based, home hospice palliative care program. Their Hugs for Hospice campaign saw the team encourage people to share the love, give lots of hugs, and donate funds so the organization can continue to provide vital, high-quality hospice care and support for patients through all phases of life-threatening illnesses, along with their loved ones, at no charge.
City of Vancouver GivingTuesday Declaration
So many incredible GivingTuesday initiatives were happening across the country and over in the West, our colleague Tamara Rahmani joined city councillors, sector leaders and mayor Kennedy Stewart as he declared GivingTuesday in the City of Vancouver.
Yonge Street Mission
Back in Toronto and heading into the afternoon, we popped in to see the team at Yonge Street Mission at their Evergreen Centre, which provides a safe space for youth to access a range of programs and services for free. On GivingTuesday, they were encouraging their supporters to help them #ChangeThePicture of Poverty in Toronto and work towards raising $13,135—$1 for each meal they will serve this season. Along with their Evergreen location, Yonge Street Mission operates four other locations, providing vital services and programs to help families in need and adults experiencing chronic poverty to move out of poverty and realize their full potential.
Hockey 4 Youth
From there, we headed up to Hockey 4 Youth’s 24 Hour #BigShinny Skate. This innovative event was running for its second year in a row and saw players hit the ice at York University’s Canlan Ice Sports, from 8am on GivingTuesday, all the way through until 8am the next day—a huge achievement! Hockey 4 Youth fosters social inclusion for newcomer and high-priority youth through free ice hockey while learning valuable off-ice life skills through their T.E.A.C.H. program (Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Community-giving, Healthy-active living). We stopped by around 4pm, when the players still had 16 hours to go!
Rounding off our day, we had the privilege of being serenaded by the voices and instruments of the incredible children at Sistema Toronto. Sistema Toronto provides musical and intellectual opportunities to children in vulnerable neighbourhoods, with the goal of achieving transformative social change. On GivingTuesday, we were lucky enough to drop in on the kids as they sung, played, and had fun learning with music and movement while developing important life skills like problem-solving, empathy, and self-advocacy. Sistema Toronto students work together for 10 hours of weekly instruction, and this holiday season is encouraging their supporters that #TogetherWeCan change the life of a child.
What a great year!
All in all, we had another amazing GivingTuesday—one we were privileged to be a part of once more! So much incredible good done across the country and we can’t wait to see what you will all get up to next year.
Mark your calendars: December 1st, 2020, Giving Tuesday #7… we’ll see you there!